So youre going to buy a dog

Pet ownership brings tremendous satisfaction to people everywhere. Picking the right pet for you and your family is not something to be taken lightly as the decision is something you will likely live with for many years to come. Dogs are the most popular pet, with some 23% of people owning one (barely edging out cats at 21%). Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, catering to the tastes of different people. The trick is finding the right one for you.

The first thing you have to consider is the time factor. Dogs require more time than some other animals, especially if you decide to keep an indoor dog versus an outdoor dog. You must take into account that a dog must be fed and watered daily and sometimes more than once a day. If you have an indoor dog, they must be let out to do their business as well. Dogs require exercise, whether it be running around in a large yard or taking a walk. You also need to bathe your dog, or take him to the groomer to be bathed. On top of these things, dogs are social creatures and a dog that spends a lot of time with his owner is a happy dog.

Once you determine that you can meet the requirements of dog ownership you must determine what breed you would like to own. As you would expect, some dogs require specialized care (such as specific grooming) and some breeds are known for having certain problems (such as excessive barking or drooling), so you want to do your homework when it comes to picking your dog. The size of a dog can be of great importance as well. Not everyone is suited for a dog that is so large they can put their front paws on your shoulders while you are standing upright and not everyone wants a dog small enough that you can carry it over your shoulder in a specially made carrying case (or an oversized purse).

Once you’ve settled on a breed of dog you need to know where to find it. You can purchase a dog from an individual, a breeder, a rescue organization or the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Cost and availability can play an important roll in determining where you obtain your dog. Some people will want only a purebred dog and will pay top dollar to own such an animal and the accompanying papers. Others don’t mind mixed breeds and can go to the local SPCA and find many adoptable dogs.

All of these factors are important when choosing the dog that is right for you. Plenty of resources are available on the internet that will help you find the right dog. Talk to the local veterinarian about specific dogs. They often have resources on where you can find dogs as well. Remember, this is not a decision to be taken lightly. Dogs live on average from ten to fifteen years, so pick wisely. If you find the right dog, it is sure to bring you many years of companionship, happiness and love.